Greater Noida once celebrated for its expansive residential areas and thriving tech parks, now grapples with an alarming escalation in drug-related activities. The emergence of foreign nationals setting up methamphetamine labs has cast a shadow over the city’s reputation.

Once a symbol of urban development, Greater Noida is now confronted with the harsh reality of illicit drug production. This surge in criminal activity has drawn widespread attention, raising concerns about public safety and law enforcement’s efficacy.

The transformation of Greater Noida into a hotspot for drug manufacturing underscores the evolving nature of criminal enterprises in urban centres. 

In a recent raid on April 17, four Nigerian nationals were apprehended, and a staggering 26.67 kg of drugs, valued at approximately Rs. 100 crore, were seized.

These clandestine drug dens, nestled within rented homes, have been discovered to be hubs for the production of methamphetamine, colloquially known as meth—a substance notorious for its highly addictive and hazardous nature. This alarming trend suggests a deeper, international drug network operating within the region.

The Meth Syndicate Unveiled

Last year’s raids on May 16 and May 30 revealed the extent of the syndicate’s operations, with over 75 kg of MDMA seized, along with the arrest of numerous foreign nationals involved in setting up full-fledged meth labs within residential houses.

Police investigations have unearthed a complex meth syndicate operating within Greater Noida’s sprawling yet less densely populated residential areas. At least three of the several police personnel concurred that the region’s convenient proximity to Delhi, coupled with its secluded neighbourhoods, renders it an ideal location for illicit drug manufacturing. 


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According to police sources. “In all three cases, the houses rented by the foreigners were in isolated locations with open areas on at least three sides, ensuring that the pungent smell from the meth cooking didn’t alert nearby residents,” explained an officer.

The seized meth, valued at over Rs. 350 crores, was delivered to their contact in Delhi and and then transported to Europe through channels that have yet to be investigated, as per an investigating officer.

According to the Police, “Using the raw material which was provided to them by their contacts in Delhi, the accused in Greater Noida cooked the meth. It was dried inside the houses and then given the form of a solid brick of six inches by one inch before being parcelled out to their networks in Delhi who met them on a need-to-know basis,”.

Availability of Raw Materials And Profit Margins

Greater Noida’s appeal to this nefarious activity extends beyond its geographical advantages, with the availability of certain raw materials playing a pivotal role. Raw materials that are difficult to get abroad are reportedly available in this region. 

The stimulant called Ephedrine is one such that is counted among those still available even after it was banned from selling by the government and the NDPS Act prohibiting it. Although it is still used in the pharmaceutical industry, it is heavily regulated. 

However, the police officer stated that while this particular drug is priced at Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 90,000 per kg it fetches Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh per kg on the black market. Europe is more challenging for this drug, with it not as widely available or if it is, the price is very high coming to around Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh per kg.

Moreover, meth emerges as the second most expensive drug after cocaine, further incentivizing its production for exportation. “The profit margin from operating here is more than double. Additionally, meth is the second most expensive drug after cocaine. The meth cooked in Greater Noida wasn’t intended for local consumption but for export,” the officer added.

Utilising Shopping Apps For Drug Shipping

Authorities are now delving into how these foreign nationals procure Ephedrine locally, shedding light on their innovative methods of drug shipping. During recent raids, it was discovered that drug suppliers utilised lesser-known shopping apps to ship the cooked meth discreetly.

The police reveal, “During the latest raid, police found that the drug suppliers were using lesser-known shopping apps to ship the cooked meth. Their associates, whether in India or abroad, would simply place an order for a product and provide a foreign location as the delivery address.

Associates, both within India and abroad, would place orders using foreign delivery addresses, concealing the drugs within innocuous items such as shoe soles, hair extensions, or bales of textile clothes destined for export.

The officer explains to PTI, “Once the meth reached Delhi, it was concealed in the sole of shoes, or creatively concealed inside hair extensions, or neatly tucked inside bales of textile clothes that are exported in bulk. It’s difficult to detect the drugs, though agencies have thwarted many such attempts with the use of intelligence and insider networks“.

Despite these creative concealment methods, law enforcement agencies have intercepted many such attempts through intelligence gathering and insider networks. As a result of these operations, all individuals arrested in connection with these drug busts are currently detained, and awaiting legal proceedings.

The magnitude of the syndicate’s activities underscores the need for continued vigilance and cooperation between law enforcement agencies to dismantle such networks. Ongoing investigations aim to not only prosecute those directly involved but also to trace the intricate web of connections facilitating the illegal drug trade within Greater Noida and beyond. 

The emergence of Greater Noida as a hub for illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking presents a significant challenge for law enforcement authorities. While recent raids have dealt significant blows to the meth syndicate operating within the region, the scale and complexity of the network suggest a persistent threat requiring sustained efforts. 

Collaboration between local and international agencies, coupled with stringent enforcement of laws and regulations, remains paramount in combating this growing menace. Only through proactive measures and comprehensive strategies can Greater Noida reclaim its reputation from the drug trade clutches and ensure its residents’ safety and well-being.

Sources: Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard

Image sources: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: Breaking Bad, drugs, procurement, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, safety, well being, MDMA, export, Europe, Nigerian, illicit trade, laws, regulations

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